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I’ve always had a way with words.
Even in grade school, I had a natural storytelling gift that many teachers encouraged me to hone. As a tenth grader, I distinctly remember the time I wrote a story in Creative Writing class, and my teacher told me I had a gift of storytelling and to never let that fade.
Like every other teen on the planet, I let it fade for a time. School pressure and being boy crazy turned into job-hunting and being a workaholic. I missed writing so much that I urged my small business employer to start a company newsletter just so I had an excuse to write. The company had 25 employees, and I think it’s safe to say that 98.9% DID NOT *get* my humor or care that I had written a hilarious review of a local zoo.
I tried my hand at writing for tiny magazines and periodicals and did “ok.” The gigs were small, and the pay was even more minuscule, but I was writing.
But something new was sweeping the internet around this time and it was called blogging. Intrigued, I investigated it and soon created my first blog on the now-defunct platform Blogger. Basically, my blog was like my Treehouse and was on an online sanctuary where I could go, let the words and thoughts pour out of me, and not even click “publish” if I didn’t want to. I finally felt validated and free.
My Blog/Treehouse gave me a place to laugh at myself, be crass, mouthy, snarky, and even tell a good poop story. I could be “raw and real” without repercussions in my daily life because no one I knew personally knew I was a blogger.
My blog also gave me a venue to write, share, tell my crazy stories, and hone my writing craft. It enabled me to shake off the “what will people think” bindings and reach beyond my zip code to discover new friends, places, and passions.
I loved that there wasn’t an editor rejecting my story because they didn’t like my angle or it didn’t match their vision. What I blogged fit my vision, and DAMN, that was empowering!
Blogging since the late 1990s has helped me find my voice. My rhythm.
It has helped me define a new and more rewarding path for the second half of my life. It has supplied me with a skill and credibility that not many in my community have.
Soon I began blogging for other people and actually getting paid. I loved getting to know my clients well so I could write in their voice and still produce excellent articles. Then I was offered a monthly gig of writing for a regional magazine. The pay was horrible, but the learning experience was priceless. I’ve always thought people were fascinating and believed everyone had a story to tell. This writing job allowed the investigative reporter/storyteller part of me to bloom and I excelled even more. I began to set my sites on bigger publications and more challenging writing assignments.
Then I began working for a boutique publishing house and a non-profit children’s literacy initiative. Books were my life and work, and I loved every second. Little by little, the seed of wanting to write my own books grew until I couldn’t ignore it anymore.
So I wrote a book. Then another. Then another. I’ve written or co-written five books to date, and I am so proud of myself! I know there’s another book inside of me; it’s just not ready to come out yet 🙂
Then something magical happened in the spring of 2021. A good friend, who also happens to be a book publicist, reached out to me and asked if I had ever thought about being a ghostwriter. Honestly, I hadn’t, but I was open to the idea. As she shared that she had a client who needed help writing her life story and asked if I would be interested, I felt that old familiar feeling of fear creep over me. Her inquiry was one of those scary, uncertain moments where my self-doubt was driving my Courage Bus, and I was on the brink of saying “no.”
But at that exact moment, I felt something that I would describe as a “God moment.” I could almost feel God’s hand on my shoulder and his voice in my ear whispering, you just need to find the courage to say “YES.”
So I did. And I am happy I did.
To be clear, ghostwriting is the act of helping someone tell their story and organize it into a story. Ghostwriting is more like cheerleading, coaching, and shepherding someone so their story can be read and appreciated by others. It’s helping someone embrace their emerging author self and tell a story that could make the world a better place.
I can honestly say that this business evolution was life-changing for me. As I now prepare to begin helping author #5 create and write their book, it’s still the most rewarding work I’ve ever done. With every new client and new writing journey, I still feel soooo lucky to be walking this journey with them and being instrumental in helping their dream of writing a book come to fruition.
I’m smitten with ghostwriting. No, I am arse-over-tea-kettle in love with being a ghostwriter.
I’m sharing this story for many reasons, but mainly because I’m living proof that if you have the courage to just say “yes” to a new and scary opportunity, the rewards can be mind-blowingly wonderful. So many times in my life, I refused to try something new because I was afraid I would fail. But I now know that the only failure is never trying at all.
What scary and amazing thing will you say “yes” to next?
Learn more about my ghostwriting services HERE.
The writing life is full of adventures! It’s been fun sharing the journey with you.